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Athens municipality introduces drones to detect fires

Athens municipality introduces drones to detect fires

The southern Athens municipality of Vari, Voula and Vouliagmeni launched a new fire-prevention system on Saturday, using drones to carry out 24-hour aerial surveillance to spot wildfire outbreaks.

The municipality is the first in the country to adopt the new technology, which civil protection authorities plan to expand to other areas if it proves successful in acting as an early warning system and preventing wildfires from growing to unmanageable proportions.

Stretched out between Mount Ymittos and the sea to the south of the capital, Vari, Voula and Vouliagmeni are particularly vulnerable to wildfires and have also been the target of deliberate acts of arson in the past.

The drones surveilling the area from the sky are equipped with digital and thermal cameras that send images to their handlers in real time, as well as with megaphones through which handlers can issue warnings if they spot any suspicious activity down below.